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Posts posted by NorthfieldNick

  1. Nick & I sorted ewes & put in rams today (a month later than I had planned, but life got in the way). Seven ewes wandered off while I was sorting the ram that was going to breed them, it was the end of the day, and I just didn't feel like walking all the way down the field to get them. So I got brave. Up to this point, I haven't sent Nick (who was 3 in June) on an outrun much longer than about 25-50 yards. Short runs- most of them are more like large flanks. Today, it was about 100 yards, and he had to go over a hill in the middle where I couldn't see him. Like I said, end of the day- I was tired! So away he goes (literally). And I wait. I see him go up & down the hill. And I wait for what seemed like ever. Then here come the ewes trotting nicely over the hill! Oh, I almost jumped up and down! Nick usually rushes the sheep, but he had these ewes going at a nice, even trot. It was lovely!


    He's really a great working dog- I have no intent on trialing, although he could do it- I'm just not into it. I still get so worried about penning... my old dog, who is now a happy pet, really was not a "worker." He'd quit, ignore you, leave the field... Not Nick! He had the ewes penned in no time, with no dallying, no fussing, no letting anyone squirt out past the gate. Such a relief!


    Now the question: I've seen a lot of folks stop a dog at the lift. The guy I bought Nick from said he did it. Whenever I stop Nick, however, when he gets going again, he's so anxious (I guess) to get the sheep going he rushes into them & they go flying off. If I leave him be & let him keep moving, everything is fine for the most part. We still have some work to do... Any reason that a dog should be stopped at the lift?


    Thanks! I'm a serious training newbie... number one reason I didn't get a puppy.

  2. I can tell you from experience that with lice, just do the Frontline... we tried every natural remedy out there & nothing worked. We did have some really soft, shiny dogs, though :rolleyes: I've had to do the Frontline twice to get rid of the lice- about 3 weeks apart. Not sure if it was newly hatched lice, or re-infestation (one of my dogs came in contact with the dog we think they got it from originally again)

  3. Nick is a blue-and-white, and he's kind of a mud brown color (oh so lovely in the Pacific Northwest). He has this greyish-purple cast to his coat, especially the undercoat. I got him at 2, but in the puppy pictures I was sent, he's very grey.


    Him now (note the crook in the background):


  4. Mark,


    I'm not Bill, but I do make (most of) my living on sheep.


    It's growth rate that counts, not adult size. My older Cotswold (a heritage breed) ram tops the scales at close to 300 Lbs at 3 yrs old. He's HUGE! My biggest ewe weighs 230 Lb, the smallest about 190 Lb. They're enourmous sheep. However, my ewes don't mature until they're 2, my ram seems to have quit growing this summer. They are a very slow maturing breed. The lambs weigh about 100 Lbs at a year old. (I raise them for breed preservation, wool, and because they are the EASIEST sheep I've ever dealt with). My production cross-bred lambs mature much faster. My Jan-Feb lambs should finish in Nov-Dec- some I'll hold until the spring. I should say I don't grain my sheep- they're entirely grass-fed, maybe some hay if the winter is bad. I'm looking to buy a Texel ram next year- my friend has one & her lambs look amazing!

  5. Well, I doubt I'll ever find Scott snuggling with a dog, and the BC drives him bananas (which I understand- Nick drives me nuts most of the time too, but in a good way:) ). However, when I was back east visiting faimly, Lu the mutt dog won over his heart. She completely ignores what he asks her to do- she does that with almost anyone but me- but I'll be damned if he doesn't go all sweet when she noses his knee. I don't care if he never wants the dogs to sleep with us- *I* don't want that! I hate having dogs on the bed.


    I'm not sure Scott knows what he's in for this spring when lambing starts, though... I doubt I'll be as alucky as last year & manage to not have any bottle lambs in the house! LOL!

  6. Food. My older Cotswold ewes, who were not dog trained & think the dogs are for smashing, will follow a bucket of alfalfa anywhere. Inlcuding 1/4 mile up the road when they went on walkabout once...


    I spent about 3 months without a dog last summer. It. was. AWFUL. I had to set up so much electronet to make lanes & chutes... and forget penning! I don't know how people do it without a dog!


    Dairy goats... if you put a dog to ours, one would run, and the other two would flatten the dog faster than you could call it off. They do NOT like dogs- they learned from our recently-deceased ancient Toggenburg doe. The Nubians are so friendly, though- they come when called. They'll do anything for a banana peel or a corn chip :rolleyes:

  7. How big is the electrostop area? Can you move the e-stop to an area with enough grass to sustain them.


    On slightly-better-than-marginal native pasture, this time of year when everything is basically standing hay, a square one e-stop lenght (164') on each side would keep 3 of my sheep who were in decent weight fed for a week. These would be non-pregnant, non-aged, non-gaining (ie butcher lambs) sheep. Which means either my non-breeding rams & one old fat ewe who I keep around for her fleece.


    My biggest worry when I go away is my sheep busting fences... but then again, I live on an island where we don't have coyotes.

  8. Nick came with the name. I figured he already knew it, so I left it. I already had a horse named Nick... my friend who I rode with had a horse & dog both named Magic (hers both came with the names). We were going to start a club :rolleyes: Now, Nick-the-BC is Mr FuzzButt because he has a serious butt-fro. Nick-the-horse is The Little Man, because he's not The Fat Mare (whose name is really Monet).


    Lu, the mutt dog, was Sheeba in the shelter (blech! That's a CAT name!) She looked like a LiLi when I first saw her. She spent a Christmas with my sister when I was travelling, and my sis added the Lu. Then it just got shortened to Lu. Or LuLuBe, Tuna... you know, BumbleBee Tuna? "I love LuLuBee, LuLuBee Tuna!" LOL! When Lu gets the crazies, she's the Lu-ney Bin.


    'Course, then there's the barn named after the cat named after my friend's grandmother: Ida Mae Gribble! LOL!

  9. Been gone awhile- end-of-summer busy-ness, then was at horse camp.


    Anywho, there have zero incidences of diarrhea in this house since I first posted about. A few outside when the dogs got into some rotten apples (why, oh WHY, do they eat such things?!). Nick has been totally fine. I swicthed him to the Lamb & Rice kibble, and both dogs are still getting some raw lamb bits in their meals. I'm hoping this works...


    The frog thing: A rather confused peeper hopped across my floor tonight, and right under the fridge. It hopped out later and both dogs just watched it from inside their crates (doors open). No effort to eat it/make it move/redirect it. I caught it and sent it outside. Perhaps Nick is tired- worked many sheep today. He had to knock some sense into my older Cotswold ram who is normally rather quiet, but has his moments. Dog has to grab his nose about twice a year. It's breeding season!

  10. Nick hunts spider, but the yellow jackets he leaves alone. Of course, this is the dog who trid to herd a peanut once...


    My sister's Lab is the ultimate fly hunter! She catches them, pins then down, then lets them go again and again, until she smooshes them. Then she pokes at them looking all sad like, "Oooohh, I killed my friend." Then she eats it & goes in search of another. If she's outside, there's one black hen that she "shares" her flies with. It's very cute- 70 Lb lab, 1 Lb chicken, both black, sharing one measly dead fly!

  11. Lu, who is 6? maybe (rescue) treats Nick, who was 3 in June, like a puppy. Let's him beat her up, etc. Although when she's had enough, and he ignores the warnings, she'll grab & flip him. Can't be too bad- Nick always comes back for more. Lu had puppies before I adopted her (3 years ago), and she goes NUTS for puppies! Even the sound of them crying on TV sets her off. She tried to mother any half-grown dog we meet on trail. She is, of course, spayed now, but that mothering instinct just kicks in!


    Come to think of it, Lu even mothered the very sad bottle lamb I had in the house two years ago (made it through this lambing season with NO bottle lambs- thank goodness for easy-foster-mother Cotswolds!) She crawled in the box with the lamb and wrapped herself around it to keep it warm... she loved that thing! (She pretty much avoids sheep. In her mind sheep=hotwire=ouch). 'Course, that lamb was hell on the BCs until the day he got butchered!


    My sister's lab protects their bantam chickens. A friend's dog was over playing & he went after the little hens. Magic came out of nowhere & body slammed the poor dog & growled at him! We were all surprised! Magic looks ashamed when she barks at the UPS man- not a mean bo.e in her body- but good golly, don't go after "her" chickens!

  12. Well, so far, still good. If it's possible, my two chow-hounds are even MORE exicted about dinner that has raw lamb pieces in it...


    Nick got into a toddler's dinner leftovers last night (hamburger, bun, veggies- the works) and he's been fine all day. He is NOT happy about this "always within 10 feet of me" rule, but the minute he disappears he gets into things.


    Gak! He'd better NOT need vet-only uber-pricey food. I would have to give him up! I CAN NOT afford $90 for 30 Lbs of food. I'd figure out how to make my own!


    Aside from needing to get more rice, this new diet seems to be working well. I so hope it continues! Thanks for all the help, everyone!


    ETA: Scott's afriad I'm going to start feeding him liver & rice for dinner every night :D Guess I should spend more time cooking for the boyfriend & less for the dogs :rolleyes:

  13. Well, day 1.5 on rice & lamb "bits" seems to be going well. Solid turds today. I was up every two hours to let Nick out last night- easier than cleaning up the mess. He rushed out at midnight & 2.00, but by 4.00 he only wanted to go out & play, which is the usual morning routine.


    Nick thinks he's special eating all this rice & lamb...


    I think I'll make an appt with the vet to have him allergy tested. Lu had a test done, and once her allergens were removed from her diet her horrible hot spots & bald patches cleared up. She has a list a mile long of what she CAN'T eat, but oddly enough, she's fine with corn & wheat (go figure...)


    I tried contacting to guy I bought Nick from, but I haven't heard anything. It is indeed possible they weren't entirely truthful... They were totally honest about his training, working ability, and temperment, though.


    *sigh* I can't really give this dog up! He's the sweetest dog I've ever met- everyone who meets him wants to take him home. And he works sheep SO well. He should have gone to someone who would trial him! He has the talent... I, however, have almost zero interest in competeing.


    Oh well, I love my fuzzy brown dog... wierd GI tract and all :rolleyes:

  14. A grain allergy is possible, but would be odd. The people I got him from fed him a crappy corn-based food & supposedly had no problems!!


    Anda, that's a novel idea... The Wellness he did well on was Lamb & Rice, but the CA Naturals AND the Canidae were Chicken & Rice! I guess I'll find out now- only meat he's getting is lamb for awhile.


    Hum, you know... Scott & I butchered the old laying hens on Sunday. The dogs got some tasty snacks from that- right before this recent bout of nasty diarrhea started. Maybe there is something to a chicken allergy.

  15. Ruth- yep, he's had multiple fecals done by a vet, plsu a few I did myself (I do them for the horses & sheep), although I'll admit the ones I did were probably mostly worthless. I live on an island, it requires a ferry ride to get to the mainland, and our island vet is terrible. I use him for emergencies ONLY- like when I came home to find Lu with a 3" gash in her stomach! Getting to a decent vet isn't easy... I'm headed to the big city of Seattle in Sept. If I can convince Scott to bring Nick home (I'm flying back east for a week), maybe I can get Nick to a specialist. (How on earth did I fall for someone who isn't really a dog person?! That's a whole 'nother post.)


    *sigh* I wish I had a place I felt safe leaving Nick outsude all day. At least it would save the irrtation of having to clean up after him. Unfortunately, I rent, and I share a yard with my landlady, and Nick likes to remodel her garden if left alone...

  16. Help. Please. I'm ready to get rid of this dog... If I come home again to find that he's had the runs all over himself & crate again, I'm going to loose it.


    The background: Nick, 3-yr old BC, happy, healthy (well...), fabulous working dog, best temperment of any dog I've ever met, SERIOUS chow hound- will eat anything from dog kibble to dust bunnies (I'm not kidding). He gets into things so often that he's always attatched to me when we're outside unless he's working sheep- otherwise, he's in the compost, the horse grain, the chicken feed, the dairy cows' alfalfa... Tested for worms multiple times- always negative.


    He's currently eating California Naturals Chicken & Rice kibble. My other mutt dog, Lu, has severe food allergies, so I've been around the block with kibble. This food is made by the same company that makes Innova. It has very few ingredients. Both dogs did well on Wellness, but I can't afford it. Canidae gave Nick the runs terribly (I've read other accounts of that happening), although Lu did great on it. They've both been on the CA Naturals for a few months. On the Wellness, Nick would poop 6 times a day- mostly solid. On the CA Naturals, he poops 2-3 times a day, mostly solid, and much less poop each time. The Canidae was awful- Nick had diarrhea constantly when he ate it.


    In the three years since I adopted her, Lu has puked exactly once. In the 9 MONTHS since I've had him, Nick has puked & had diarrhea more times than I can count. He no longer gets bedding in his crate because I don't have a washing machine. I hose his crate out every 10 days, at least. Sometimes 3 times a week.


    I can't handle this anymore!


    I've taken him to two different vets- neither can find anything wrong with him.


    Starting tonight, Nick is getting boiled rice & lamb bits. (I raise market lamb- I have as freezer full of it. I don't raise cattle, so I don't feed beef. Lu is also allergic to it.) I've been thinking of switching my dogs to a mostly raw diet. I have all these bones from my lambs (well, mostly from old ewes that get boned out for ground meat). The dogs LOVE those bones! (Raw, of course. They love gnawing the bits of meat & gristle off of them.) I also have TONS of organ meat (heart, liver, kidney, thymus [sweetbreads], etc.) It dawned on me that I should be feeding them to my dogs more than the once a month or so I give them to them for treats. All the meat & bones come from my own lambs & sheep- 100% grassfed, organically raised- I eat the same lamb (yes, even the organs sometimes) myself.


    I need ideas, thoughts, any help. I really am on the edge here... I can't deal with this anymore! Nick seems to get better for a while, then it comes back with a vengence!


    ETA: I cannot feed Nick anything with fish in it. Even one very small piece of salmon skin (I live in NW WA- land o' salmon) makes him sick. Lu, on the other hand, could live on fish. Dairy products are also mostly out, although my homemade, raw milk, from-my-own-cows yogurt seems to do okay with Nick (Lu is so allergic to milk, I think just seeing the cows gives her hot spots!) I tried a commercial dog pro-bio... you guessed it, gave Nick diarrhea...

  17. Yeah, they can learn to live with chickens. Lu, my mutt dog, ignores them except to occasionally run through the flock to make them fly up & cluck loudly. Nick, the BC, has become a great help with the banty hens who lay everywhere- he's become an expert at flushing the hens off of nests! Our egg yield has doubled since he figured out how to find hidden hens. He will, however, leave a hen alone if told to- we do let the occasionaly hen hatch a some chicks (we have a few who will set, then hatch chicks, and promptly loose track of them...).


    The ducks are an entirely different story. They act more like sheep (they flock & will come to me), but Nick helps put them away at night on the days when I let them roam :rolleyes:

  18. It's your wedding. You will NOT want to be worrying about your dog. Trust me. My sister got married in my backyard last year- I coordinated the whole thing. Of course, it was open to the community, so we had 300 people, but still.


    My dogs were crated- they slept the whole time. I'd come & let them out every few hours into the orchard, which is fenced & was away from the party. The other BC went to "Camp" at as friend's house because he's so high-stress in large groups. My sister's two dogs (one who is ancient) were loose in my house. My dogs are NOT trustworty loose...


    Put Molly somewhere, anywhere, where she will be scure and you won't have to think about her. Trust me, unless she's carrying the ring (which my cousin's dog did), you will not want to be worrying about Molly on your wedding day.


    I kept my sister's dogs overnight... I mean, it was their wedding night! They didn't need to worry about dogs barging in... LOL!

  19. Nick, who is blue and white, med-rough coat, is one big fluff ball. He's the softest dog I've ever felt- no difference between colours. I wonder if the dilute colouring has anything to do with it... blue (which looks mud brown, solid, not merled, or nearly that blue) is caused when a black dog gets a dilute gene.

  20. In a pinch, cayenne pepper (ground) will stop a bleeding nail almost instantly. It stings a little, and the dogs make odd faces if they lick it, but it saved me from having a huge mess had I run out to the barn to get the Blood Stop from the horse first aid box. It works on people, too- I tried it on an under-the-nail paper cut. Stings a bit, but stopped the bleeding!

  21. I'm not the only one! All the BC's I know around here practically have to be force-fed (of course, they're nearly all related, so maybe that's it. Their sire, even at 16, isn't big on food.) Nick is a food hound! He's constantly searching for something to eat. He tries to eat hairballs, dust chickens, dried grass... he LOVES the dairy cows' alfalfa pellets- both dogs do, for that matter. He's eaten my sister's ancient BC's pills a few times when Brandy spit them out- none of the other dogs will touch the things. Nick hasn't learned not to eat hot peppers, though... he ate one last night- THIRD time! Boy, did he make odd faces...

  22. Nick does not have a gay tail. He's all about the girls.


    Unlike his owner... If I had a tail, it'd be gayer than Christmas :rolleyes:


    Okay, there. *I* made the stupid comment! LOL!


    In all truth, I've never paid attention to Nick's tail. Now that I think about it, it only comes up when he's working when he makes cheap shots...

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